Minimally Invasive.
Highly Disruptive.

A message of faster recovery from joint replacement helps an underdog outpace the competition.


Virtua is a comprehensive healthcare system headquartered in New Jersey. A non-profit with a penchant for innovation and personalized care, Virtua was doing invaluable work pioneering in the world of healthcare, specifically launching a minimally invasive knee replacement surgery that featured the region’s only quad-sparing joint replacement technique. They had a problem, though: The Rothman Institute.

With four hospitals and a small compliment of support services, Virtua was very much an up-and-comer. Their main competitor in the region, The Rothman Institute, had them beat in size, resources, and advertising spending. As Virtua prepared to launch their revolutionary new knee replacement technique, they needed a way to stand out and differentiate against an opponent that was above their punching weight.


We knew Virtua’s conglomerate-sized obstacle would take more than an advertising solution alone to overcome. They needed a strategic deep-dive. They needed someone to do the legwork to truly understand what message would resonate within the healthcare community. So that’s exactly what we gave them.

We put troops on the ground in New Jersey and southern Pennsylvania to talk to the patients and practitioners that interacted with both Virtua and Rothman. What we uncovered surprised us. It wasn’t something the big guys had that Virtua didn’t. It was something Virtua held on to that its competition never had.

“It’s what we don’t cut that counts” was the insight that launched Virtua’s groundbreaking procedure, but spoke to something much more potent that was reflected in our research—Virtua brought innovative and accessible healthcare to their audience without sacrificing a devotion to personal care. The message was supported by a fully integrated campaign that included TV, radio, outdoor, print, and digital support. At every touchpoint, we let potential patients know what put Virtua ahead of its competition, all while taking the high road.

Work we did

  • Digital
  • Creative
  • Research
  • Media
  • Advertising
Screenshot o f the Virtua Landing Page for the Joint Replacement Institute
Billboard for Virtua JRI, the running man.
Magazine shots for the VRJI campaigns.

What happened next

Thirty days after the launch of the campaign, the Virtua Joint Replacement Institute had received 409 new inquiries about the minimally invasive procedure—a spike that resulted in six straight months of continuously booked appointments. A 457% increase in web traffic and a 580% increase in call frequency followed. During follow-up research, a competing orthopedic doctor told a patient he “would be in good hands with the Virtua Replacement Institute.”